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  • Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says contingency measures have been put in place to maintain the normal functioning of the financial system and markets while safeguarding employees and customers, in light of the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 
  • Additionally, the Governor said steps are being taken to ensure that “more than adequate cash will be available in the system to meet the demands of the public.”
  • “The public can be confident that the Bank of Jamaica will ensure that the financial system and financial markets remain stable. We will continue to refine and operationalise our crisis/emergency plans to ensure that we minimise the effects of the COVID-19 virus on the economy,” Mr. Byles.

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says contingency measures have been put in place to maintain the normal functioning of the financial system and markets while safeguarding employees and customers, in light of the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement on Friday (March 13), Mr. Byles said the BOJ has collaborated with the commercial banks to ensure that there is no disruption to critical banking and payment services.

To this end, he advised that the real time gross settlement system, which facilitates electronic payments, will be available.

Additionally, the Governor said steps are being taken to ensure that “more than adequate cash will be available in the system to meet the demands of the public.”

“Importantly, I want to remind everyone that the country has adequate foreign exchange reserves, in excess of US$3.5 billion. We will continue to work with the banks and cambios to ensure that ample foreign exchange is available to meet the needs of businesses,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Byles said the BOJ has been in discussions with financial institutions, which have been asked to defer any extraordinary investment transactions that could adversely impact the price of foreign exchange, until the critical period has passed.

He is assuring that Jamaica’s banking system is “sound, strong and has adequate liquidity to ensure continued economic activity during this period.”

“The public can be confident that the Bank of Jamaica will ensure that the financial system and financial markets remain stable. We will continue to refine and operationalise our crisis/emergency plans to ensure that we minimise the effects of the COVID-19 virus on the economy,” Mr. Byles.

He also urged persons to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.

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